We Call on The Government To Meet All Demands Now!
Give concrete solidarity to Polytechnic strike!
We of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) support the on-going strike action embarked upon by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP). SSANIP is demanding payment of the CONTISS 15 salary structure and adequate funding of education among other demands.
The CONTISS 15 is a right due to SSANIP members and we demand its immediate implementation across board. We also call for the adequate funding of education by both the federal and the state governments. We wish to note that members of SANNIP have taken this option of strike due to the federal and state governments' refusal to implement the agreements reached with the union since 2009.
We urge SSANIP and its members not to relent in this struggle. We also urge them not to limit this struggle to a sit-at-home strike action but to commence mobilisation of members in mass protest on their respective campuses across the country. This to us is the best way to give publicity to the cause the union is fighting for and also to win the support of students and parents whose right to quality education this strike is meant to defend.
We call on Students' Unions in Polytechnics across the country as well as the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) to give concrete solidarity and support to this strike by commencing immediate mobilisation of students to protest in solidarity with SSANIP and its members. We also call on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their affiliates to commence solidarity actions in support of the strike.
We hold strongly that this kind of struggle deserves concrete and practical intervention of the central labour leadership. It is a fact that the ongoing struggle is ultimately a struggle for better educational system and therefore a struggle for all working class people. Labour and pro–masses' organizations should specifically support the industrial action with picketing, rallies, press statement, solidarity actions etc., so as to ensure that their demands are met by both the federal and state governments.
While workers that toil endlessly earn very meagre wages that could barely cater for their basic necessities, several billions of naira is being stolen by politicians and government officials who also inflate contracts to enrich themselves.
Notwithstanding the stupendous resources at the disposal of government at all levels, public education is being grossly underfunded while basic learning facilities remain obsolete or non-existent.
The ERC calls on SSANIP, other staff unions and students' unions in the education sector to collaborate to build a united movement that can begin to organise joint strikes, protests and mass demonstrations to force the government to use Nigeria's resources to fund education adequately.
ERC Niger State
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